Premier League fans were given their first glimpses of new signings on the opening weekend with a number of debutants producing impressive first appearances.
From goalscoring bows to shows of shot-stopping and more, we’ve looked at five debutants who impressed as the 2023/24 Premier League campaign got underway.
Five players who impressed on their Premier League debut:
Newcastle’s new season started in dream fashion as the Magpies thrashed Aston Villa to make a statement at St James’ Park. In a fixture billed as a clash between two teams hoping to upset the established elite, Newcastle ran out 5-1 winners in a one-sided contest.
Eddie Howe’s side got off to the perfect start as debutant Sandro Tonali opened the scoring inside six minutes, with the Italian midfielder arriving to meet Anthony Gordon’s cross and fire home.
Tonali signed from AC Milan for a fee of around £55m earlier this summer and the marquee man made an immediate impression on his debut for the Magpies.
Calm in possession and full of energy, Tonali continually burst past opposition players to cause problems in the final third. His attributes appear tailor-made for the demands Howe places on his midfield and the 23-year-old already appears a fine fit for this side. The Newcastle fans have taken to their Italian import instantly, with the club’s fanbase serenading the new signing throughout.
He’s sure to have gone up even more in their estimations, after celebrating his debut performance with a trip to a North East Wetherspoons.
This very much feels like Sandro Tonali has asked his teammates for restaurant recommendations and they’ve told him that Spoons is the height of sophistication. https://t.co/syf1hQbWvc
— HLTCO (@HLTCO) August 15, 2023
Harvey Barnes also came off the bench to mark his Newcastle bow with a goal, on an encouraging opening weekend for the club’s debutants.
Erik ten Hag will be concerned with the defensive fragility of his side on the opening weekend, but a strong performance from Andre Onana helped ensure Manchester United escaped a disappointing performance with a 1-0 win over Wolves.
The Cameroon international arrived in a £47.2m deal from Inter Milan during the summer, with Ten Hag keen to reunite with a goalkeeper he previously worked with at Ajax.
Just the fifth African goalkeeper in Premier League history, Onana made six saves – including five from close range – to record a clean sheet as Wolves carved out a number of good chances at Old Trafford.
Andre Onana’s game by numbers vs. Wolves:
67% pass accuracy
6 shots faced
5 saves from close range
4 long balls completed
3/4 duels won
0 goals conceded
Impressive Debut. 🇨🇲 pic.twitter.com/Z9RzFLQhKF
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 14, 2023
The 27-year-old was fortunate to escape penalty punishment for a stoppage-time collision with two Wolves players inside the penalty area, ensuring his debut ended with a clean sheet and three points for his new side.
Bournemouth’s capture of Milos Kerkez was considered a coup with the Cherries having beaten competition from Lazio to secure the signing of the Hungarian left-back.
An exciting emergence at AZ Alkmaar saw Kerkez attract attention from a number of clubs across Europe and the early evidence of his debut for Bournemouth has indicated why.
The Hungarian teenager was full of energy and endeavour during the club’s 1-1 draw with West Ham, drawing the most fouls (3), winning the most duels (10) and making six ball recoveries.
On to the Saturday!🍒💪🏻 pic.twitter.com/K7YiodfZik
— Kerkez Milos (@MilosKerkez5) August 14, 2023
An all-action outlet down the left-hand side, the 19-year-old is set to form part of a new-look full-back partnership with fellow recruit Max Aarons. The demands of new Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola will be for high energy and intensity, a game-plan that Kerkez seems superbly suited to. He will be one to watch as a Bournemouth team increasing in potential looks to evolve this season.
Brighton continue to unearth promising players and Simon Adingra looks like the latest off the club’s production line.
The Ivorian winger impressed on loan at Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium last season and a strong pre-season campaign has placed him in Roberto De Zerbi’s plans for the new season.
Adingra came off the bench to mark his first Premier League appearance with a goal on the opening weekend, capitalising on a defensive mistake from Luton’s Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu to slam home on the volley and open his Albion account.
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) August 12, 2023
The 21-year-old produced 20 goals and assists in just 26 league starts in Belgium’s Pro League last season and Brighton will hope Adingra can evolve into a regular goal threat as he adapts to the demands of the Premier League.
There was plenty to be positive about as Chelsea opened the season with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool, a fixture which saw the west Londoners unfortunate not to take all three points.
Nicolas Jackson led the line to make his Chelsea debut and the summer signing from Villarreal built on an eye-catching pre-season campaign with a strong showing at Stamford Bridge.
The 21-year-old was a nuisance to the Liverpool backline with his movement and strength, including one surging run in the second half that saw Jackson head direct for goal and force Alisson to make a good save.
21 – Nicolas Jackson made 21 off-the-ball runs into the box against Liverpool, at least nine more than any other Premier League player across the opening weekend. Exciting. pic.twitter.com/0zRzIFTaQa
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 14, 2023
Jackson remains raw and he lashed a good chance over the crossbar when well placed, but there was enough in his all-round game to encourage. He appears to have the profile and presence that Chelsea have lacked in the final third for some time and, crucially, should get better and better.